IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Town Hall leader condemns anti-hijab video

A video showing a woman confronted by a security worker has been widely condemned

02 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

A still from the video which has been shared widely on social media 

THE Town hall leader has vowed to take action after a video seemingly showing a woman being asked to take off her hijab by a major fast food restaurant worker was widely shared on the internet.

The incident which allegedly took place on Thursday at a Mcdonald’s branch in Seven Sisters Road was uploaded to social media and shows a woman – who is filming the incident – confronted by a man wearing a security badge.

In the clip which lasts 1min 14seconds the man, assumed to be a Mcdonald’s security worker, tells the woman: “It’s just a matter of taking it off” and indicates to his head after she had asked him if her hijab was the reason she wasn’t allowed in.

The hijab is a piece of cloth worn by some Muslim women to cover their hair and chest.

The woman then continues to film the incident and tells the security worker:  “It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line and I will get the food I want, because this isn’t OK.”

A member of the public then intervenes telling the security worker: “You can’t stop her coming in here.”

Responding to the original video which was posted on social media website Twitter and had garnered more than 11,000 retweets by Saturday, Town Hall leader Cllr  Richard Watts said he was in contact with the police about the incident.

He wrote on Twitter: “This is utterly unacceptable. We’re in touch with @MPSIslington [Islington Police] and seeing if anything can be done.”

Cllr Watts told the Tribune: “What happened is disgraceful and blatant discrimination which is utterly unacceptable. We have asked the police to investigate whether this is an offence which falls under hate crime legislation.

“We are looking at a whole lot of options at the council to hold McDonald’s to account to ensure disgraceful scenes like this are never repeated.”

Cllr Richard Watts (far right) with Jeremy Corbyn at an event at the Finsbury Park mosque earlier this year

The woman, who is 19 years old and says in the clip she lives near by, goes to the till to ask who has implemented the anti-hijab policy after being confronted by the security guard.

But the person behind the till tells her to stop filming to which the 19-year-old responds: “I’m so shocked right now. I’m not going to stop it, it’s my legal right to film because i’ve been living in the UK for 19 years and this is the first time i’ve faced this kind of discrimination and I’m shocked.”

She is eventually offered service by the till worker but she responds: “I don’t want anything anymore I am pretty full to the head.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said:”McDonald’s does not have a policy in place which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious dress, from entering.

“We welcome customers of all faiths and would like to apologise to the customer as this situation should not have taken place.

“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are addressing this with the individuals involved.”

The clip on Twitter can be seen here.

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